Australian Catholic University

Campuses: Adelaide | Ballarat | Brisbane | Canberra | Melbourne | North Sydney | Strathfield

Faculties:  Education and Arts | Law and BusinessHealth Sciences | Theology and Philosophy

Australian Catholic University (ACU) is a public not-for-profit university funded by the Australian Government and open to students and staff of all beliefs. The University offers Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses. In addition the University is committed to creating a specialised, growing and well-regarded research environment. In pursuing this goal, ACU is building research capacity in the areas, listed below.

  • The first focus area is Theology and Philosophy as being central to the elucidation, development and expression of Catholic intellectual thought.
  • The second focus area is Health, with a particular emphasis on the value of care, especially of the weak and vulnerable.
  • The third focus area is Education, especially in support of the historic Mission of Catholic educational institutions and agencies in exercising an option for the poor and vulnerable.
  • The final focus area is the Common Good and Social Justice. This multi-disciplinary focus extends throughout the University’s teaching and research. It also grounds the development of the University’s graduates, who learn to think critically, act ethically and put the good of humanity at the centre of their concerns.

University Key Result Areas

  • Research Culture & Focus - The University will create and foster an organisational-wide research culture and focus its research in designated areas of speciality derived from the University’s character and Mission.
  • Research Quality & Productivity - The University will improve the quality and productivity of research outcomes.
  • Research Training - The University will strengthen its research training environment.
  • Knowledge Transfer - The University will promote public intellectual engagement and communicate the outcomes of research and knowledge transfer.


Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) program: Building collaborative research with a focus on cardiovascular health

The Australian Government introduced the CRN Program to encourage less research intensive universities to team up with other institutions in areas of common interest in order to build research capacity.

ACU was awarded $7.9M towards its program ($22M total funding with ACU and partner contributions) which has three main objectives:

  • Enhance cardiovascular health research through the partnership between ACU’s Cardiovascular Research Centre (CvRC), The University of Melbourne, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne and the O’Brien Institute (the CRN Alliance)
  • Capture and apply effective practices from the Alliance experience to other areas of research strength across the University via the Research Enhancement and Sustainability Initiative
  • Increase ACU’s research capability through research training and development which will be developed and delivered in collaboration with The University of Melbourne

Additional details about this funding scheme can be found at: Collaborative Research Networks

For information and updates on the ACU CRN program visit

Research Institutes

The Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

  •     NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) to Reduce Inequality in Heart Disease
  •     Centre for Heart and Mind
  •     Centre for Primary Care and Prevention
  •     Centre for Health and Social Research

Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

  •     Indigenous Culture, Education, and Well-being
  •     Mindfulness, Compassion, and Action
  •     Physical Activity, Sport, and Health Psychology
  •     Positive Education
  •     Positive Organisational and Social Context
  •     Positive Psychological and Social Development
  •     Positive SELF and Well-being
  •     Substantive-Methodological Synergy

Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

  •     Biblical Studies and Early Christianity
  •     Catholic thought and Practice, including Inter-religious Dialogue
  •     Moral Philosophy and Applied Ethics
  •     Philosophy and Phenomenology of Religion
  •     Religion and Society

Institute for Social Justice

  • Rethinking Social Ideals
  • Rethinking Rights and Justice
  • Diverse Struggles for Freedom
  • Human-Nonhuman Relationships in the Anthropocene
  • Economic Justice, Care and Well-being
  • Nonwestern and Southern Social and Political Thought
  • Addressing Social Issues
  • Secularism and Religious Diversity
  • Indigeneity and Indigenous Governance
  • Gender, Race and Class: Intersecting Oppressions
  • Migration, Borders, and Citizenship
  • Democratic Processes of Public Reflection, Action, and Solidarity

Learning Sciences Institute Australia

  •     Program 1 - Assessment, Evaluation and Student Learning
  •     Program 2 - Enhancing Literacy and Engagement for Overcoming Disadvantage
  •     Program 3 - Mathematics Futures for All
  •     Program 4 - Early Childhood Futures
  •     Program 5 - Enhancing Children's Safety and Life Chances (Institute of Child Protection Studies)
  •     Program 6 - Promoting Healthy Development and Inclusion in Families, Schools and Communities
  •     Program 7 - Transitions and Youth at Risk
  •     Program 8 - Educational Semiotics in English and Literacy Pedagogy

Institute for Religion, Politics and Society
The Institute for Religion, Politics and Society (IRPS) undertakes comparative research on the public expression of religion in relation to major institutions in society such as the law, politics, economy and society.

The IRPS is an interdisciplinary research group combing expertise in anthropology, politics and sociology. Each of its research projects will, at some level, be conducted in response to globalisation, its causes and consequences, and religion.

The Institute four main research streams are:

  •     Religion and Public Life 
  •     Religion: Conflict and Solidarity
  •     Successful Societies
  •     Cities and Individuals and Gender and Religion

The Institute for Health and Ageing

The Institute for Health and Ageing (IHA) is led by Professor Marita McCabe and based in Melbourne.

Professor McCabe is a highly regarded clinical, health, and forensic psychologist whose research addresses some of our society's key health concerns.

Her research interests include body image, obesity prevention and treatment, eating disorders, human sexuality and depression, and mental health problems among older people.

Her appointment is an important step in our research intensification strategy and she brings invaluable expertise to the University in the key priority area of health. 

Data Profile
Australian Catholic University has 86 data records in Research Data Australia, which cover 150 subjects areas including Catholic, National Church Life Survey (NCLS) and Protestant and involve 8 group(s). All of the information provided by Australian Catholic University can be accessed from the box on the right hand side of this page.